Thursday, February 1, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks-A story within a story


I'm trying to get back slowly as, many of you know, January has been a rough month. The bathroom is gutted and will stay that way for a while. My mom's funeral was beautiful, this past Saturday, and many commented on how well I spoke as well as my brother Baron. They loved the slideshow and the music we chose which I might place on here in the near future. My car accident, the day before the funeral, was an unfortunate surprise and which I still beat myself up. I am feeling it a bit in the neck and shoulders but I am ok which is a good thing. We bought a car! It is the newest car I ever owned, a 2013 Honda Civic and it comes with snow tires and has other extras. So, at least we are now moving forward and, since I am a believer that everything happens for a reason, time will let me know the answers. Now on with my movie list which I had a tough time thinking up films that fit this theme...A story within a story. Head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to see what the others have chosen...

1.  SPELLBOUND-1945


I had to find a Hitchcock film because I think Hitchcock often chose a story within a story. Ingrid Bergman plays a doctor at an insane asylum with the new head of the asylum played by (hubba, Hubba) Gregory Peck. The problem is that Gregory Peck is not a doctor but is an amnesiac and may have even killed the doctor he is impersonating. It is a romance, suspense and quite advanced for its day since the dream sequence was created by Salavdor Dali who, I think, is a great artist. Through dreams we see Peck's story evolve and learn who he is. Layers are being pulled away until we finally get to the truth. Love everything about this film.

2. TIME BANDITS-1981


I have no idea why I don't own this movie because it is one of my favourites. The director is Terry Gilliam from Monty Python fame and one who always creates fun, dark films with many themes. This film has a young boy, neglected by his parents, who travels with a bunch of dwarves that came out of his wardrobe cupboard. They stole a map from their employer, the Supreme being, and now travel with the young boy through time on their quest to find treasure. They end up singing to Napoleon, travelling through the middle ages meeting Robin Hood, and land on the Titanic. At one point, the boy is separated from the tiny group and feels right at home with Agamemnon, played by Sean Connery. Throughout his adventure, the young boy takes photos including when they all end up in the grasps of Mr. Evil, played wonderfully by David Warner. I loved the whole adventure, the time travel and the characters.

3. LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY-2001 TO 2003


Love, love, love these films! I can't say enough about this epic journey that starts with the Hobbits and ends up at the evil place of Mordor. Frodo with his best friend Samwise, Pippin and Merry head out with Gandolf, the old Wizard, to start the epic journey of bringing the ring back to Mordor and throw it into the volcano from whence it came since the ring is evil. They meet Fairies, dwarves, ogres, men and talking trees. Many try to help and many try to stop them. It is epic and worth understanding how Tolkien, a World War One vet, hated war, hated what was happening to the world and decided to create a masterpiece. Tolkien was a strong believer in nature, forests, animals and peace. he was opposed to the destruction of land in the name of progress and in war since he had seen and experienced the horrors of it. I loved The fairy worlds, the epic scale of the production design, the cinematography, the costumes, the great score, the acting and their story. We see Merry and Pippin become men and lead an army. We see Frodo change from an idealistic Hobbit to one changed forever due to the power of the ring. Also, I love that Christopher Lee, who played Saruman, had met Tolkein, read the trilogy every year and became an expert for Peter Jackson and others on the set.

What films can you think of that fit this theme?

47 comments:

  1. Lord of the Rings sure can't be beat. Time Bandits was a fun one too. Recall it being a bit weird though. Never even heard of Spellbound at our sea.

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    1. Time Bandits is weird...it’s a Terry Gilliam film😁

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  2. Great picks. I totally forgot Time Bandits was a story within a story. And I never knew that about Christopher Lee. Outstanding post!

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    1. Glad you liked my post. I need to read a Christopher Lee biography

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  3. Glad you got a new car.
    LOTR and Time Bandits are both excellent choices. I wonder if the movie Inception fits the theme?

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    1. Inception is a perfect film for this!

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  4. I can't believe I didn't think of LOTR. I need to see Spellbound, I love Bergman and Peck.

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  5. Hi Birgit....onward and upward every day....great news about your new car.....I have seen the time bandits but I just can’t make myself watch any of the hobbit and rings films as I adored the books and have my own film in my head.....
    It’s snowing here today so staying in and warm xxxxx

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    1. Thank you so much. I still need to read the books! My ex read them and saw the film and even though some major plots were not in the films, he was still impressed by the films. Today is the day to pick up the car

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  6. I wanted to pick The Lord of the Rings myself but then I went with a different one. I absolutely have to see the other two.

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    1. Glad you like my picks and you have to see the other 2

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  7. Some book fans hated those movies, but I really liked them. Just like SW fans and The Last Jedi, they hype themselves into a mythical realm and they can't be brought back to reality

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  8. Time Bandits is such a perfect fit for the theme! I liked it though I haven't seen it in years and years but it was quite inventive in its storytelling.

    Spellbound is to me lesser Hitchcock, but lesser Hitchcock is better than some people's best-except the awful Topaze, but still a good film. Ingrid and Gregory Peck are both breathtakingly beautiful in it and Dali's dream sequence is something else.

    Words fail for how much I HATED the Lord of the Rings trilogy! But it fits.

    I also found this week to be a challenge but after some searching high and low managed to come up with three.

    Hellzapoppin’ (1941)- Projectionist Shemp Howard (ya one of the Three Stooges) is running a filmed dance number that turns into a funhouse ride collapsing into Hell where the dancers are tortured by demons until comics Olsen & Johnson arrive in a taxi and disrupt the scene. They call the scriptwriter in and we discover we’re in Miracle Pictures Studios (their slogan “If it’s a good picture, it’s a Miracle!”) where the boys are attempting to translate their Broadway hit show into a movie. Crazy patchwork quilt of a film throws everything, including a kitchen sink! into the mix and comes up with unrestrained lunacy that might make little linear sense since it bounces back and forth between stories but adds up to a very enjoyable viewing experience. Good cast with a standout Martha Raye. The source play was the longest running musical in history up to that point.

    The Locket (1946) - Because of a false accusation of theft as a young girl a woman (Laraine Day) sets out for revenge on the world becoming a kleptomaniac, chronic liar, and eventually a murderess. The story is told in layered flashbacks (flashbacks within flashbacks) from different points of view. Complex thriller has many noirish touches and a good cast including a young Robert Mitchum.

    The Fall (2006)-In a hospital ward in 20’s Los Angeles a young girl with a broken arm meets a seriously injured stunt man (Lee Pace) who as their friendship grows weaves elaborate stories in extravagant settings of different men who share a mission. As each story ends he asks her to forage in the hospital infirmary for morphine to help him endure his pain. Cryptic and challenging.

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    1. We are usually so much in sinc until now....how can you dislike LOTR so much?! Did you read the books first? My ex read the books but still loved the films. I’d love to know why you dislike them so🌝 I have to see your picks as I have not seen any. They all sound excellent and I have marked them down to see.

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  9. Sorry to hear about the rough spots recently encountered in your life journey, but it sounds like things are getting better for you. What a way to start a year!

    I like movies that have stories within stories that are skillfully interwoven within the framework of the film. You've suggested some good ones. I have three that immediately come to mind:

    Stand By Me which had various stories running through it. Who can forget the story of the pie eating contest that Gordie tells his buddies sitting around the campfire?

    Never Give a Sucker an Even Break has W.C. Fields playing a teller of tall tales. Such an outlandishly funny film filled with stories within stories.

    Finally, Lust for Gold (1949) about a guy searching for the Lost Dutchman Mine in Arizona where a character starts telling a story that became such a diversion to me that I started to forget the original story being told. When the film went back to the real story line I was very appreciative of how the director of the film had handled it all.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I hope this month will be much better. Thank you for your kind words as they are much appreciated. I haven’t seen your film choices but they work and now on my ever growing list of films to see.

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  10. How "The Fatal Glass of Beer" with W. C. Fields? That's the only one I can think of.

    Haven't seen "Time Bandits" since it first came out. I remember really liking it.

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    1. Love the title of the WC Fields Movie. I haven’t seen Time Bandits is a film I love and also haven’t seen in decades

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  11. Time Bandits... I do not understand Time Bandits. It belongs to the era where I was dragged to movies by my father. I think I was too young. It made no sense to me. I was lost. And since then I've never been able to watch it again as I have these feelings of bewilderment from it. It's not the movie's fault, I think, but it's still a no go for me.

    (My father also dragged me to Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Empire Strikes Back. As well as a couple other clunkers...)

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    1. Time Bandits is a different film and onethat seems to have been written while they had some shrooms. I don’t care for Raiders but love Empire

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  12. I am glad your life is starting to get back on track. Let's hope your bath gets fixed soon, and you can't beat a Honda for performance.

    As usual, I don't know why I leave a comment every Thursday, because I haven't seen any of these films and have never heard of the first two. I DO love Dali, though, and I also love his art. I'll keep visiting, though, and hope that someday I'll have seen something you have showcased!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. One day I might pick a film you have actually seen

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  13. Hi Birgit - I'm so pleased you've found another car so quickly - that will make life easier ... the bathroom will come around soon enough. Take care while you adjust and as time heals - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you! We picked up the car this eve and the bathroom will have to wait

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  14. This theme got me Googling the idea. First movie that popped in my head was Singin in the Rain. Then I was stuck. I love LOTR and used it one year for A to Z. If I get snowed in this weekend, I might watch it again. Glad to hear you are getting back on track.

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    1. You know, I have seen Spellbound several times and cannot remember that scene. Must be old age.

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    2. Singing in the Rain was the first film that came into my head but I used it already same with The Bandwagon. I remember your LOTR for the A to Z. That’s funny you can’t remember but I have had the same experience with other films

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  15. BIRGIT ~
    I'm glad to hear that at least a modicum of balance is returning to your life. Hang in there, Sister!

    Not sure I totally get the concept we're working with here, but I think I do... I think I do... I think I do...

    I once wrote a screenplay that ended with one of the main characters beginning to write a screenplay for the movie that the audience would have just seen. Is this kinda-sorta what we're yakkin' about here?

    First I want to say that 'SPELLBOUND' is one of my very favorite Hitchcock movies. I loved it the first time I saw it and would have put at #1 on my Hitchcock list. I liked it less the second time I saw it but still enjoyed it and rank it pretty highly.

    I'd never heard of 'The Fall', which Joel mentioned, but his description of it has me very much intrigued. I believe I'll see that one.

    The first three that came to my mind were...

    THE NEVERENDING STORY
    A troubled boy dives into a wondrous fantasy world through the pages of a mysterious book.

    STARDUST MEMORIES
    While attending a retrospective of his work, a filmmaker recalls his life and his loves: the inspirations for his films.
    (This is my favorite Woody Allen movie, although the critics and most viewers hated it.)

    Damn! I had another one, but now I've lost it!

    Wait! Got it!...

    'RADIO FLYER'
    A father recounts a dark period of his childhood when he and his little brother lived in the suburbs.
    (That one is more like a story within a story within a story.)

    Or how about 'BACK TO THE FUTURE 1-3'?
    'HEAVEN CAN WAIT' - 1943?
    'BIRDY'? (A terrific but mostly unknown movie.)
    'HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE'? (That would actually be a whole bunch of stories within a story. Damn, that movie's funny!)

    OK, I'm not really sure if I have a handle on this concept or not. I think I need a shot of whiskey in my coffee before I can grasp the idea of a story in a story.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

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    1. POSTSCRIPT:
      Now that I think about it, wouldn't Woody Allen's movie 'MIDNIGHT IN PARIS' also qualify?

      I dunno. I think I better just quit while I'm only a little behind, and return to my shot of whiskey in my cup of coffee.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

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    2. You have chosen wisely, grasshopper..hahahaaa. Your picks are perfect and work great with this theme. I love Mr. Jordan and the remake, Heaven Can Wait. I’d love to see Birdy and Hollywood Shuffle. February is a new month and it will be better.

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  16. I'm glad you had the opportunity to speak on behalf of your mother one last time - and to do it so well after such a big shake up is really commendable. I'm still sorry for your pain and your loss. I know it is hard and will continue to be hard for some time. Take it easy.

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    1. People said I spoke well and people cried and laughed and I am happy for that. It will take time

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  17. Depending on someone's definition of the theme, I suppose anything with any kind of lengthy flashback would fit. If so, that gives me far too many choices to list. :)

    I am still waiting to watch your video about your mom until I can get to a computer where I can listen to it as well as watch it. (The library doesn't allow sound). I did watch the first couple of minutes. There were some great photos there!

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    1. I hope you got to see it. The o e pick of my mom when she is young and standing is what I call her starvation photo. There is the one with her motorcycle and the one of her on the boat. She won best costume and I think it is a hoot! I am so very thankful that you took the time to look at it. It has really touched my heart

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  18. Princess Bride, which is even more pronounced in the original book.

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  19. I was thinking I didn't see the trilogy, but I did. It's the Hobbit that I haven't seen because I read the story and I didn't want to be disappointed. I only read the first book in the trilogy and that I can't remember so that was okay to watch the movies. I want to see The Time Bandits. I didn't know that was what it's about. Merci, Madame.

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    1. Time Bandits is such a fun film that I even had a dream similar to it.

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  20. Oh, I am so sorry to hear your mother passed.

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  21. I didn't see the trilogy, but I wanted to. Now it's back on the list of movies I'm REALLY going to watch. Thanks for the reminder.

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  22. I do love the LOTR series. Such beautiful cinematography. :) The rest are new to me.
    ~Jess

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